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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.


By Sydney Dobell (1824–1874)

From ‘Balder’

THIS dear English land!

This happy England, loud with brooks and birds,

Shining with harvests, cool with dewy trees,

And bloomed from hill to dell: but whose best flowers

Are daughters, and Ophelia still more fair

Than any rose she weaves; whose noblest floods

The pulsing torrent of a nation’s heart;

Whose forests stronger than her native oaks

Are living men; and whose unfathomed lakes,

Forever calm, the unforgotten dead

In quiet grave-yards willowed seemly round,

O’er which To-day bends sad, and sees his face.

Whose rocks are rights, consolidate of old

Through unremembered years, around whose base

The ever-surging peoples roll and roar

Perpetual, as around her cliffs the seas

That only wash them whiter; and whose mountains,

Souls that from this mere footing of the earth

Lift their great virtues through all clouds of Fate

Up to the very heavens, and make them rise

To keep the gods above us!